Living in a state of accord.

Java On Leopard

I was silly enough to open my work email this morning, only to discover that the Apple Java-Dev list had broken out into the age old Java on OS X argument. First up here's what people have reported1:

  • Java 6 is not included with Leopard.
  • The previous Java 6 DP which was pulled from ADC a while back does not run on Leopard.
  • Upgrading to Leopard from a system with the Java 6 DP installed can cause some frustrating issues with switching Java versions.
  • Apparently Java 5 is much faster on Leopard.
  • Java 5 looks different with quite a few tweaks to the Aqua L&F.
  • Some fonts don't look right in Java 5 on Leopard because it uses the Sun 2D graphics pipeline instead of the Quartz pipeline. The Sun 2D pipeline doesn't support sub-pixel antialiasing. You can override the default and there's a few other conditions that trigger the Quartz pipeline to be used by default.
  • Java 5 supports 64bit on Intel Core 2s (but not PPC). There seemed to be some problem with it when using the Java tools in /usr/bin though – can't say I followed that discussion too carefully.
  • Lots of documentation is coming, but not much is available yet.

Pretty sure that's the Java on Leopard wrap up, the other 150 emails to the list were just the usual gnashing of teeth about Apple abandoning Java and how Apple will lose so much business if they don't get Java 6 out yesterday etc etc etc. Of course, Apple's doing better than it ever has before and JavaOne was full of people using Macs – without Java 6 – so it would seem it's all just talk and insignificant numbers of people are actually leaving OS X. As a fresh twist, this time round people are talking of porting OpenJDK to OS X themselves and finally freeing themselves from the evil clutches of Apple! Apparently no one has told them that Java 6 isn't available from OpenJDK either – it will become Java 7 and is quite some way from that yet. I think it's a safe bet that Apple will have Java 6 out long before even a reasonable uncertified port of OpenJDK is available for OS X.

Oh well, time to put my flame proof underwear on – nothing gets people going like Java on OS X posts, for those who subscribe to the comments feed, this one's likely to drown out the Back to the 80s nonsense for a fair while….